French business and industry were affected on Tuesday (2 December) as workers in a variety of sectors went on strike over issues which included higher pay, shorter working hours and a lower retirement age.
GV & SV Deserted railway lines and red lights (3 shots)
LV EXTERIOR Station with few people outside (2 shots)
LV People queuing for buses
SV Streets crowded with cars (2 shots)
LV & SV EXTERIOR OF Radio & TV studies (5 shots)
LV & SV Demonstrators marching .. carrying banners (3 shots)
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Background: French business and industry were affected on Tuesday (2 December) as workers in a variety of sectors went on strike over issues which included higher pay, shorter working hours and a lower retirement age.
The stoppages were called by the country's two main unions ... the Communist-led CGT (Confederation Generale du Travail) and Socialist CFDT (Confederation Francaise de Travail) ... and reached their climax with a big demonstration through the streets of the capital, Paris.
Those on strike included railway workers, miners, kindergarten child-minders, technical staff on radio and television stations, rubbish collectors and gas and electricity workers.
Commuters were the people most affected by the stoppages. Although in Paris the underground and bus services ran normally in the morning, the services were cut by 60 per cent in the afternoon.
Consequently many people took their cars to work ... causing large traffic jams through the city.
All express trains to the North and East were running normally, as were 80 per cent of the express trains to other parts of the country.
But, there was no rubbish collected and little mail was delivered and production in some coal mines was cut in half.
It is the third time the two unions have walked out in the past two months. The grievances were the same in those two strikes.